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Peter Ho-Sun Chan's He's a Woman, She's a Man

Lisa Odham Stokes

Publication Year: 2009

This concise book is an in-depth analysis of Hong Kong director Peter Chan’s dramedy ‘He’s a Woman, She’s a Man,’ including the artistic, cultural, socio-economic and political aspects of the film, with an emphasis on audience/spectator response, globalism, gender and sexual orientation, and the figure of actor Leslie Cheung.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Series: New Hong Kong Cinema

Title Page

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Table of Contents

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Series Preface

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pp. ix-xi

The New Hong Kong Cinema came into existence under very special circumstances, during a period of social and political crisis resulting in a change of cultural paradigms. Such critical moments have produced the cinematic achievements of the early Soviet cinema, neorealism, the nouvelle vague, the German cinema in the 1970s and, we can now say, the recent Hong Kong cinema. If this cinema ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

Filmmaking is a collaborative art, and first I would like to thank the filmmakers (the director, cast, and crew of He’s a Woman, She’s a Man) without which there would be no film and therefore no book possible, and also the many audiences that have seen and responded to the film. My deepest gratitude goes to Terence Chang ...

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1. Comedy and More

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pp. 1-11

Director Peter Chan’s popular, light-hearted, and delightful gender-bending “romantic comedy” He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (Golden Branch, Jade Leaf)/Gam ji yuk yip/Jin zhi yu ye (1994) satisfied Hong Kong audiences and crossed over internationally.2 Screened at the 19th Hong Kong International Film Festival, the film was described in its program by Chan as ...

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2. Camera, Sound, and Music

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pp. 13-29

Comedy often hides its artistry, and this chapter attempts to reveal it. Credit goes to Chan’s collaborators, director of photography Joe Chan Jun-git, editor Chan Kei-hop, screenwriters James Yuen Saisang and Lee Chi-ngai, composers Clarence Hui Yuen and Chiu Tsang-hei, and lyricist Lam Chik, as well as production designers ...

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3. Cross-Dressing, Gender-Bending, and Sexual Orientation

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pp. 31-57

Comedy in He’s a Woman, She’s a Man is dependent on character, characterization, situation, and structure, and as Gerald Mast points out, the comic movie has something to say about the relationship between humans and society, either “uphold[ing] the values and assumptions of society, urging the comic character to reform his ...

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4. Commerce and Globalization

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pp. 59-84

Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s and 1990s, rooted in the historic conjuncture of its colonial and post-colonial relations between Britain and its ties to the Mainland, can be described as “crisis cinema” as new patterns of language, time and space, place and identity, and meaning itself arose. The return of Hong Kong to the ...

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5. Audience

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pp. 85-107

Like many other film lovers, I grew up going to the movies with adult family members, seeing the films they wanted to see, films that were beyond me at the time, such as Robert Wise’s I Want to Live! (1958), starring Susan Hayward, and John Huston’s The Misfits (1961), with Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery ...


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pp. 109-143


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pp. 145-147


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pp. 149-150

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052622
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099708

Page Count: 164
Illustrations: 1 b/w image
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: New Hong Kong Cinema